The room was filled with silence.
Everyone who heard about Judith’s past had no choice but to have a stiff expression.
Bratt and Airn couldn’t imagine such a childhood.
And consoling her was a difficult task for them since they were cared for since birth.
Even butler Glenn, who was a commoner, was unable to say anything.
A heavy air surrounded them as they looked into eachothers’ eyes.
The first to break the silence was Jet Frost, who received Judith’s hot gaze.
Judith couldn’t understand him.
She thought he would say sorry.
Of course, there was no reason he had to say it, but she was preparing for it in her mind.
So she didn’t expect the words ‘thank you’ to come out.
However, Jet Frost spoke with sincerity.
With a serious expression, he looked at Judith’s eyes and said.
“When I was younger, there was a time when I thought that there was only one way to use the sword. It was after I had tasted a quick sword for the first time. Whether it was with a greatsword or a different sword, I used to think that speed was the most important thing in swordsmanship.”
“Of course, I don’t think that way anymore. I realized later that the most important thing is the person who holds the sword. Is there a correct path to take while pursuing the sword? No, there isn’t, just walk down the path that you think is right for you. But despite knowing that…”
Jet Frost continued to speak with a smile.
“… I made the same mistake. Since you reminded me of myself.”
“Which is why I said thank you.”
There was no set answer to how a person can ascend to the Expert Level or higher. Each person had to find their own way.
Like Jet Frost, it’s right to consider the pain of competition as unnecessary and focus solely on the sword.
And if one can find their true self through that, then that is their answer.
But that didn’t mean that Judith’s way was wrong.
She was fully aware of the pain of competition and bitterness of defeat, but she was determined to endure it.
Even if the flames inside her end up burning her, it can be a correct answer if she doesn’t lose herself and overcomes it.
Jet Frost realized once again.
That there is no fixed answer.
So he said.
“I don’t think my way is wrong.”
“But your way isn’t wrong either. If you can get through it, then that would be the best way for you. But I couldn’t stand the pressure and collapsed… on the contrary though, I think you will get stronger.”
“Absolutely. But that’s because I’ve been living like this until now. As you know, it’s impossible to keep up with these crazy jerks.”
“Haha, that’s right. Butler, bring it out.”
“Are you talking… about that?”
The butler asked with a surprised expression.
Jet Frost nodded, and the butler stood up with a serious expression.
And then he walked over to the glass case in the corner and pulled out a bottle and glasses from the case.
It seemed like alcohol, and as soon as it was placed on the table, Bratt exclaimed.
“What. Do you know this?”
“I do. I think I talked to Kuvar for an hour about this whiskey.”
For that to be here…
Seeing Bratt mumble with excitement, neither Airn nor Judith could understand.
But Jet Frost understood. He chuckled as he opened the bottle and poured it into five glasses.
‘I think he poured 1.5 times more into his…’
Bratt mumbled under his breath. Well, the owner of the drink was Jet Frost, so he could drink more.
Thinking that, he looked at Judith.
Because her cup had more alcohol than others.
‘Should I ask her to exchange it with mine?’
Bratt thought about asking but decided not to.
The atmosphere was too serious for such actions. And he didn’t want to make the mood worse.
And of course, no one took notice of his troubles.
When Judith, Airn, and Glenn were in their own thoughts, Jet said.
“I’ll say it again, thank you. You all woke me up from being trapped in a narrow field of vision and gave me a new stimulus when my motivation was dying… it’s all thanks to you guys. Especially Judith, thank you.”
“Well, I’m glad I was of help to you and I’m grateful for what you taught me. Let’s make great use of the remaining 10 days we have.”
“Right. Although the mood became sour because of my narrow thoughts… the end seems to be a good one. I hope this drinking party will blow away all of the bad feelings and end the day with good ones. Come on, lift your glasses!”
Jet Frost said boldly.
He only had two to three glasses of honey wine, but his face was already red.
As if drunk, his emotions were also intense.
It was the same with Glenn.
He’s served the man for decades, and it’s been a long time since he saw such a lively look on Jet’s face.
He, too, raised his glass with excitement, followed by Airn and Bratt.
Judith reached for the glasses a beat later.
After the five glasses collided, everyone took a drink from their glasses with joyful expressions.
Except for Judith.
‘… this looks like 100% alcohol.’
Judith stared at her glass and glanced around.
Jet Frost, the butler Glenn, Airn, and even Bratt, who was famous for drinking, wrinkled their noses.
And seeing that, the embarrassing memories of the first day she met Kuvar and Lulu came to her mind.
But she couldn’t not drink.
That was how the air was.
‘… just one glass will be fine.’
Right, that will be fine.
Judith, who made up her mind, drank the 30-year-old Ruabor.
Jet Frost seemed happy, but Bratt looked sad.
He thought that 30-year-old Ruabor was too precious to give to a child who doesn’t know the value of alcohol.
‘Well, it’s just a cup… she won’t drink anymore because of what happened in the past.’
But Bratt didn’t know.
That the 30-year-old Ruabor filled with Jet Frost’s heart was enough to make Judith drunk with just one cup.
“Oh? It’s strong, but it tastes better than I thought?”
The fact that drunk Judith turns into a monster who can’t hold back made him worried.
“Stop what! Can I have one more?”
“Haha. Sure you can. It was taken out with the intention to empty it. Come on, have another glass!”
“Euk! Thank you! Kuk… this is nice. It surely has alcohol, but it’s very delicious. Bratt, have more. You like to drink.”
Bratt and Airn exchanged glances.
They wanted to stop her.
But they couldn’t.
Just as Judith couldn’t refuse the first drink because of the atmosphere, they too couldn’t say anything to stop her now.
Jet, Glenn, and Judith were already excited.
But of course, their fun was shattered in an hour.
“I’ll kill you… kill them all, those motherfuckers…”
“Judith, are you okay? I think you’re very drunk…”
“Oh, Airn! Are you worried about this sister? Hehheh, hehehe… but why do you sway back and forth like that? Uh? Mr. Butler… since when have you been bald?”
“… ah, I’m sleepy.”
She spit out abusive words at random, laughed like a madwoman, and then said some more words and fell asleep.
“I’m glad that it didn’t get boring.”
“Are you going to cry?”
“No. You did that last time.”
“… I adjusted to it though.”
Jet Frost shook his head at Judith, who was half-asleep, and Bratt, who kept speaking to her.
Glenn took Judith to her room.
In the chaotic atmosphere, Airn smiled.
This wasn’t great, but sometimes he thought that such days weren’t bad.
The day after the drinking was embarrassing for some and tiring for others.
But regardless of that, the three swordsmen and one teacher continued their training as if nothing happened.
Rather, they continued each day with a more intense and dense schedule.
During this time, the protagonists were Judith and Jet Frost, but Airn was riled up too.
‘Fear of defeat and overcoming it…’
This was something he hadn’t thought deeply about until now.
To have a fighting spirit means to be desperate for victory.
It was possible to draw greater motivation and strength from that.
However, if you look at it the other way around, someone who thinks like that is afraid of defeat and falling behind.
And someone who gets engulfed in such emotions will have a hard time and collapse badly… he saw that with Charlotte and Victor.
‘One way or another, the fear of competition has to be overcome.’
Like Jet Frost, one could move away from competition and focus on their sword.
Or they could face any competition head-on like Judith.
He wasn’t sure which one was his way. Maybe he will find a different path.
Of course, he didn’t have to make a hasty decision.
Because the trip isn’t over yet.
‘As I gain experience, I will be able to find my path.’
Airn, who was firmly determined, did his best in the last 10 days of training, and he greeted the farewell party with a satisfied expression.
Unlike before, this time, there was no alcohol.
Instead, there was delicious food and drinks, and Lulu, Kuvar, and Hyram who weren’t called before, were seated together.
It was a fun time.
While it was bustling and chatty, Jet asked Airn and the others.
“Have you decided on your next destination? Did you say you were going to the Graveyard of the Devil’s Blood?”
It was a disaster that appeared long before the Demon Dragon King’s appearance 400 years ago, and it was a demon that was killed by an old hero whose name was forgotten.
There’s a legend that the demon’s body which was torn in half by the hero turned into two hills, and in between them is a river that flowed with blood instead of water.
“There were a lot of swordsmen who stopped there and achieved enlightenment… so there’s no reason not to go. And it’s just a week away.”
“Hmm. Right. But you don’t have to go right now, right?”
“Then I would recommend stopping somewhere before that. Have you heard of the Land of Proof?”
Airn and his group nodded their heads at the same time.
Of course, they heard about it.
Isn’t it the land of proof for gladiators that the Khaliad Kingdom, one of the five western kingdoms, is proud of?
It was a place they had to visit someday, but it was put off for a later time because of the distance.
However, there had to be a reason why Jet Frost mentioned it.
When Bratt asked for the reason, Jet answered.
“Because it’s being said that one would have to run away from there because of their inability to withstand her power. Some even say that the Land of Proof’s level has risen since she arrived there. And after hearing the rumors, many talented people have moved there.”
Only one person came to the minds of Airn, Judith, and Bratt when they heard that.
The person who defeated them.
And left the school to walk down on her own path.
Jet Frost said her name.
“Ilya Lindsay… the current champion of the Land of Proof.”
It was shocking that the lady of the Lindsay family had conquered the Land of Proof.
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